Campaign aims to connect authors with their readers

John Donoghue
John Donoghue

Twelve titles by authors based in the north of England have been selected to take part in Read Regional 2017, the annual campaign that connects authors with readers in settings across the region, including Morpeth and Berwick.

Read Regional is a celebration of brilliant new books from the north, run in partnership by New Writing North, Active Northumberland and 22 other library authorities across the region.

Ruby Robinson

Ruby Robinson

Founded in 2008, it has previously promoted authors including Melvin Burgess, Ann Cleeves, Kim Moore and Mari Hannah.

The 2017 campaign encourages readers to take a risk with their reading, by picking up a book by a new writer or by reading in a different genre.

Ten of this year’s selected titles are debuts and the wide variety of literary fiction, crime fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, poetry and writing for children offers readers the chance to try something different.

In May, John Donoghue, Ruby Robinson and Linda France will all be visiting Northumberland

John Donoghue will be visiting Berwick Library on Monday, May 22, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm, and talking about The Death’s Head Chess Club, which is his deeply poignant and moving debut novel which explores the extraordinary relationship between an SS officer and a Jewish watchmaker.

John worked in the field of mental health for more
than 20 years and has contributed numerous articles on mental health to medical journals.

Acclaimed young poet Ruby Robinson is coming to Morpeth Chantry – home of the unique Northern Poetry Library – on Thursday, May 18, at 7.15pm.

Ruby’s performance will be preceded by an exploring poetry workshop with Northumberland poet Linda France at 6pm. Ruby will be reading from her debut collection, Every Little Sound.

Tickets are available for either or both events. For details,

Libraries across Northumberland will create special displays of the books, while readers can also download a reading guide for each title and follow the authors as they write about their experiences on the New Writing North blog.

Following the spring campaign, the Read Regional titles will remain in stock, adding to the wealth of new northern literature readers can borrow from local libraries.

The 2017 list contains a selection of exciting new books by some of the best contemporary writers in the north.

The Read Regional titles are Walking the Lights, by Deborah Andrews; The Lost Art of Sinking, by Naomi Booth; The Confession of Stella Moon, by Shelley Day; Streets of Darkness, by AA Dhand; The Death’s Head Chess Club, by John Donoghue; You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat), by Andrew Hankinson; Greetings from Grandpa, by Jack Mapanje; Hard Wired, by Kathleen McKay; Katy Parker and the House That Cried, by Margaret Mulligan; The Lightless Sky, by Gulwali Passarlay; The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick; and Every Little Sound, by Ruby Robinson.